The plan prioritizes the vaccination of 100% of healthcare workers and vulnerable groups, including the elderly and those with underlying conditions, in line with efforts to vaccinate 70% of the world’s population.
More than 12 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered worldwide to date, enabling countries to reach an average of 60% of their population.
Yet only 28% of older people and 37% of healthcare workers in low-income countries have received their first round of vaccines, and most have not received booster doses.
“Even where 70% vaccination coverage is achieved, if significant numbers of health workers, the elderly and other at-risk groups are not vaccinated, deaths will continue, health systems will remain under strain and the global recovery will be at risk,” Tedros said. Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO.
“Vaccinating all those most at risk is the best way to save lives, protect health systems and keep societies and economies open.”
The updated strategy emphasizes the need to measure progress in vaccinating these priority groups and develop targeted approaches to reach them, which also includes improved access to more displaced people through the response. humanitarian.
Invest and improve
Accelerating the development of improved vaccines and ensuring equitable access to dramatically reduce transmission of the virus is a top priority.
While current vaccines were designed to prevent serious illness and death, and have saved millions of lives, they have not significantly reduced transmission, the WHO said.
As the coronavirus continues to circulate widely and dangerous new variants emerge, the UN agency stressed that it is fundamental to continue investing in research and development to find more effective and simpler ways to administer vaccines, for example via nasal spray products.
WHO also called for other vital actions, such as the equitable distribution of vaccine manufacturing facilities across regions, and underscored its commitment to continue collaborating with the international vaccine solidarity initiative COVAX and others. partners, to support countries in deployment.